sur·​round | \ sə-ˈrau̇nd How to pronounce surround (audio) \
surrounded; surrounding; surrounds

Definition of surround

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to enclose on all sides : envelop the crowd surrounded her
(2) : to enclose so as to cut off communication or retreat : invest entry 2
b : to form or be a member of the entourage of flatterers who surround the king
c : to constitute part of the environment of surrounded by poverty
d : to extend around the margin or edge of : encircle a wall surrounds the old city
2 : to cause to be surrounded by something surrounded himself with friends



Definition of surround (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as a border or ambient environment) that surrounds from urban centre to rural surround— Emrys Jones

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Examples of surround in a Sentence

Verb A wall surrounds the old city. They had the suspect surrounded. She was suddenly surrounded by a crowd of excited fans. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the decision. His departure was surrounded by secrecy. Noun the vast, featureless surround of the desert was strangely appealing to him
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Love should have been informed privately, not when he was surrounded by a handful of others in the trainer’s room. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers’ season of self-inflicted wounds continues in collapse against Chicago," 19 Jan. 2020 One man who refused to be searched retreated into a public restroom that was promptly surrounded by riot police. Carol Mang,, "Thousands-strong Hong Kong protest cut short by clashes," 19 Jan. 2020 Although the photos on the glossy paper are surrounded by articles, commentary, and captions, those on the matte paper have none. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "“Relentless Absurdity”: An Army Photographer’s Censored Images," 19 Jan. 2020 One man who refused to be searched retreated into a public restroom that was promptly surrounded by riot police. Washington Post, "Thousands-strong Hong Kong protest cut short by clashes," 19 Jan. 2020 The Michigan Advance reported on a Tuesday exchange between Lucido and Donahue outside the Senate chamber when he was surrounded by male students from his alma mater, De La Salle Collegiate, a Catholic high school in Warren. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Sen. Lucido doesn't discuss reporter exchange, cites fact-finding process," 17 Jan. 2020 The formal living and dining room is surrounded by stunning city views and the eat-in chef’s kitchen has everything for the serious cook. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "SEE IT: Jennifer Lawrence’s $12 million Manhattan penthouse is for sale. And it's amazing.," 14 Jan. 2020 Ultimately, scientists realized that our sun was once likely surrounded by a disk, much in the same way as other young star systems that have been observed. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "'Great Divide' that impacted life on Earth found in our solar system," 14 Jan. 2020 His final moments were captured on video, showing him to be surrounded by a mob of rebels. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "White House spokesman criticized after claiming Obama killed Muammar al-Gaddafi," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An executive office to the right of the foyer has a glass French door entry and is also anchored by a fireplace with a sandstone surround that reaches the ceiling. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Danville estate makes the most of its amazing views of Mount Diablo," 18 Sep. 2019 The smaller bedroom has a linear closet, and the second bath has a tub with shower with marbled porcelain surround. Pamela Dittmer Mckuen,, "West Loop’s 727 West Madison apartments play up elliptical design," 20 Aug. 2019 The air quality dropped to hazardous levels in many areas of Sydney and the surrounds area today, according to CNN affiliate Nine News Network. Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN, "Sydney smoke: Before and after photos show impact of bushfire on Australian city," 6 Dec. 2019 Netflix brought in a digital media firm to outfit the space with surround-sound systems in the theater’s three levels, a projection booth (with two projectors) behind the orchestra seating and an 18-by-32-foot screen. Nancy Coleman, New York Times, "‘The Irishman’ on Broadway: Phone Booths, Broadsheets and Jimmy Hoffa Stickers," 4 Nov. 2019 The first thing that strikes visitors is the noise: the low-level surround-sound thrumming of insects. Isabella Tree, Time, "How to Return a Farm to the Wild—And Maybe Save the Planet," 3 Oct. 2019 Its bathroom has a terrazzo soaking tub with black Mexican pebble surround, a wet area with an overhead rain shower head and Brizo’s Jason Wu Collection of smart-touch faucets. oregonlive, "Eco-friendly Lake Oswego house was designed to cut energy bills to zero," 24 Sep. 2019 The flooring is ceramic tile, while the shower surround is terrazzo. Real Estate, "Home of the Week: For less than $500,000, a condo with a roof deck in Roslindale," 17 Oct. 2019 This pattern, available in other colorways, can be adapted to fit any bathroom surround. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "The Kids' Rooms That Spark Children's Creativity," 14 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surround.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of surround


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for surround


Middle English, to flood, inundate, from Anglo-French surunder, from Late Latin superundare, to overflow, from Latin super- + unda wave; influenced in meaning by round entry 5 — more at water

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Time Traveler for surround

Time Traveler

The first known use of surround was circa 1616

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Statistics for surround

Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Surround.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for surround


How to pronounce surround (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of surround

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be on every side of (someone or something)
: to move close to (someone or something) on all sides often in order to stop a person from escaping
: to be closely related or connected to (something)



English Language Learners Definition of surround (Entry 2 of 2)

: a border or an area that is around the outside edge of something


sur·​round | \ sə-ˈrau̇nd How to pronounce surround (audio) \
surrounded; surrounding

Kids Definition of surround

1 : to enclose on all sides : encircle A fence surrounds the property.
2 : to be closely related or connected to … my actions will help to dispel this terrible myth of evil that seems to surround rats everywhere.— Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

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Comments on surround

What made you want to look up surround? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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